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11:16 - This is it. As of right now, I’ve already been awake for more than 40 straight hours.
I’m taking Stanford by four, I’m watching them win and then I’m sleeping until Selection Sunday.
11:22 - I'm still on Kentucky/Kansas until the final horn sounds inside the Garden, but right now CSU is doubled up on Stanford, 12-6 after five minutes of play.
11:56 - CSU up 31-24 late in the first half on Stanford. Will be flipping over after Kentucky/Kansas.
12:02 - Stanford cuts the lead to 33-31 at the half.
12:17 - No more jokes. No more fun. No more commercials. Fingers on right hand hurt.
12:30 - Colorado State coach Tim Miles took some time to tweet during halftime.
I bet he punched those keys so hard.
12:32 - We are all tied up at 41. By the way, this is preseason NIT game. I'm not sure why I felt the need to point that out, but nothing makes sense in these times. I hate that last sentence but I don't have the motivation to delete it.
12:41 - Despite 13 turnovers, Stanford has built a 49-43 lead here eight minutes into the second half.
1:00 - It's 1 o'clock, which means I've now been awake for exactly 42 straight hours.
Stanford maintains a 54-50 lead with 3:16 to play. If they cost me a correct prediction in the final game of the marathon, so help me God I will cut down a tree.
1:03 - Breaking news: UCLA is terrible. I'm not willing to get any more creative or informative than that.
1:06 - The Stanford lead is six with just over a minute to play. Not that I'm counting or anything. Oh, and if this goes to overtime, I will kill myself.
1:12 - FINAL SCORE: Stanford 64, Colorado State 52
Actually not that bad, but...I just had nothin' left.
Prediction Result: 13-2
Not a bad showing.
Because not consuming anything for that last hour is what's going to keep this whole experience from being a bad one for my body.
I have been awake for over 42 straight hours, I have been watching and blogging about college basketball for over 25 straight hours. I am going to bed now.
The Florida Gators were trying to avenge a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes from last season, that saw the Buckeyes coast to an easy win. It looked like the Gators would be able to do that early on when Jared Sullinger opened up the game with a turnover and the Gators took an early 11-4 lead. The Buckeyes led by Sullinger rallied back however, taking a 35-30 lead into halftime
The Buckeyes pulled away in the second half, going on a 10-0 run to open after halftime. The Gators were never able to pull within more than 7 points. Ohio State pulled away thanks to 21 points by William Buford and another 16 points and 6 boards by Jared Sullinger to go down 81-74
After trailing at halftime, the Villanova Wildcats trailed the La Salle Explorers 31-26. Surprisingly Nova was down only 5 points after going 0-12 from the 3-point line, being called on multiple offensive fouls, and turning the ball over 13 times. The Wildcats jumped out in the second half, taking back the lead after Maalik Wayns sunk two free throws to put Nova up 32-31.
The Wildcats eventually took a 5 point lead in the second half and began locking down defensively. Late in the game, Darrun Hilliard cut into a passing lane to steal the ball and took it down the court to tie the game at 61-61 with 45 seconds left in the game. After the game went into overtime, it was all Villanova as they outscored La Salle 15-8 to grind out the win.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski passed his mentor Bob Knight to become Division I basketball's all-time winningest coach with 903 victories in a 74-69 victory over Michigan State.
10:00 – Tip has been pushed back to 10:05 for the second Champions Classic game between No. 2 Kentucky and No. 12 Kansas.
Much of the talk surrounding Kansas this offseason has been whether this is the year they finally get knocked from their perennial perch atop the Big 12 standings. Kentucky, meanwhile, is everyone’s choice to wear the crown in the SEC.
They’ll also wear the crown on this evening. Cats by 10.
10:16 - Kansas gets off to a great start and leads Kentucky 9-3. Cats other than Terrence Jones looking a little tight.
10:17 - Not doing a new update for the game, but I've got Cal over Austin Peay by 8.
10:19 - I'm seeing spots.
10:25 - Focus on the game you're calling, Dick. Just once. I promise you, no matter what you think, people don't like this.
10:27 - Kentucky coming alive and the lead is down to one.
10:38 - Kansas answers right back and builds a 21-14 lead. Regardless of what happens tonight, this is going to be a great experience for UK's young guns. They're getting thrown into the fire a little bit right now.
10:43 - I'm not entirely sure what day it is.
10:48 - Kentucky freshman point guard Marquise Teague has 0 assists and six turnovers. That's not ideal.
10:57 - Terrence Jones has really put this Kentucky team on his back. He's got nine points on 4-of-5 shooting as well as a pair of blocks. And then he's gonna stare atcha.
11:01 - And we're tied at 28 heading into the locker room. Not a clean game by any stretch of the imagination, but hard-fought and competitive. All you can ask for in November. Here's hoping we can finally get a second half where one side doesn't pull ahead early and stay ahead.
11:05 - I will be singing "Good Life" and dreaming about ESPN's new "in the bonus" feature for the next three weeks. Dexter's voice will be narrating said dream (Dodge Journey commercial).
11:20 - Back underway and both teams get a bucket on their first possession. Really hoping one team doesn't pull away here in the first five minutes...you know I'm talking about you, Kentucky.
11:32 - They didn't listen. Cats up 41-30 and showing no signs of letting up.
11:37 - Kentucky up 48-37. These guys could be scary good.
11:40 - I do think Kentucky ends up being the best team in the country by season's end, but that doesn't change the fact that this Kansas team is way down. The talent and the athletes simply aren't there like they have been since...well, as long as I can remember.
11:47 - Kentucky fans have been blowing up Vitale's Twitter since he called the team out for showboating. When he goes home to see if John Wall has tweeted at him yet, he's in for a pretty rude surprise.
Cats lead 57-40 in a game that has eerily mirrored the other two headline games tonight.
11:50 - Vitale takes comments that he hears from head coaches restates them and puts "I think" in front of them. For instance: "I think Anthony Davis is farther along as a freshman than Marcus Camby was under John Calipari at Massachusetts." Calipari made that exact statement three weeks ago.
11:58 - Scuffle between Kansas and Kentucky.
12:07 - Composure, not post presence, is going to be Kentucky's biggest enemy this season. It just comes with the territory with young players. They lead 66-52 at the under four.
12:18 - Please, just end.
12:18 - Unbelievable how similar all three headline games were. Close first halves, favorite closed strong, favorite dominated early part of second half, held onto lead, and then sort of faded at the very end.
12:22 - Kentucky wins it 75-65. Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas leads all scorers with 22, while Doron Lamb led Kentucky with 17.
Game Rating: 6
Ugly, but close first half, then UK dominates.
Prediction Result: 12-2
Cal also won handily.
Consumption: 1 cough drop
No room for anything else.
The Miami Hurricanes coasted to an easy victory of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Miami opened the game leading by 10 at halftime, 35-25. The Scarlet Knights were once again outscored in the second half as the Hurricanes rode it out for the 15 point victory.
Guards Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant scored 19 points each to lead the Hurricanes. In the second half, Rutgers did manage to go on a 15-2 run in which Miami didn't score for a total of 8:40 and cut into their massive lead. Even with the run, Rutgers did come very close at all to mounting a comeback, trailing by at least double digits after halftime until the final buzzer to end the basketball game.
6:44 – Finally, it’s time for the trio of main events.
Duke/Michigan State gets things started at 7 and will attract the majority of the night’s attention due to the fact that Coach K is looking to break Bobby Knight’s record for the most coaching victories in Division-I. Questions surround both teams as State is unranked and fell to North Carolina by 11, while Duke was pushed to the limit by Belmont at home, ultimately outlasting the Bruins by a single point.
The evening’s highest-profile game – at least in terms of national rankings – will be on the deuce at 8 when No. 3 Ohio State faces No. 10 Florida. It’s also one of the more intriguing personnel matchups we’ll see all year. The Gators have four guards who would start for just about any other team in the country, and Billy Donovan won't hesitate to throw the quartet out on the floor at the same time. And then there’s Ohio State, which has the unquestioned best big man in the game in Jared Sullinger. The sophomore is the lone lone returning first team All-American from last season and the near-unanimous choice for preseason Player of the Year. Obviously, the Buckeye offense runs through the middle.
I’m taking Duke by eight over Sparty, and Florida to spring a two-point upset over the No. 3 team in the country.
It doesn’t get much better than this as far as an evening of pre-new year’s hoops is concerned. Enjoy.
7:06 - Judging from that National Anthem, America does not, in fact, have talent.
7:16 - SHOT FAKE
Duke up, 6-4.
7:27 - Mason Plumlee called for a "contact technical foul" after a light shove (if you can even call it that). That call's only made because this is a nationally televised game at the beginning of the season and a message is trying to be sent. Totally absurd. No way that's called in February or March.
Sparty leads 13-9.
7:30 - Still blows my mind that college players refuse to step up to the college three-point line when playing on NBA floors. I don't know if it's a mental thing or a pride thing, but you'd think more coaches would make it a point of emphasis.
7:31 - Game is off to a very high-quality start with State on top 16-12.
7:39 - Quick ESPN commentating stat. References to the score of the game: 3. Number of Jay Bilas wasn't a great shooter jokes: 52.
7:42 - Andre Dawkins loves weird shots like I love nerd ropes. 20-20.
7:50 - Dawkins has hit three threes and leads Duke with 11 points. Blue Devils on top by a point. Bobby Knight has said "shot fake" at least 15 times. Not hyperbole.
8:00 - All tied up at 31 with a little over a minute to go. First game of the evening sesh (that's how I say it, "sesh") is living up to the hype so far.
8:05 - We are a go on Ohio State/Florida. This is great.
8:16 - Duke carries a one-point lead into the break. Andre Dawkins is your leading scorer with 14.
8:20 - Not earth-shattering insight, but Ohio State is going to have to prove it can shoot the three consistently without Jon Diebler if Sullinger's going to be able to do anything in the post against good teams.
8:27 - Very high quality of play right now. Florida up 21-18. Brad Beal is as good as advertised.
8:35 - No idea why or how this is happening:
If I'm pregnant, my life's over.
8:39 - Duke red hot to start the second half. Michigan State not. Blue Devils on top 50-40.
8:41 - So is WoJo just not looking for another job, or...?
8:43 - Blue Devils on a 12-0 run and Andre Dawkins has 22. Duke over State, 53-40. Sportswriters cautiously start working on the midsections of their Coach K pieces.
8:50 - Sullinger's increased mobility on full display as he buries a pretty turnaround jumper from the baseline. Bucks up by a point (33-32) with a minute to play in half one.
8:52 - Ohio State ends the half on a 17-11 run to go into the break up 35-32. Jared Sullinger leads all scorers with ten points.
8:53 - Meaningless light push? Technical. Obviously intentional knee to the face? Nuttin'.
9:02 - 61-43 Duke with nine minutes left. Game has gotten really physical. Media waiting for Coach K anointing. Fans waiting for Florida/Ohio State to come back.
9:06 - Annnddd Bob Knight has given up on the game.
Via Inside the Hall.
9:12 - Duke letting Sparty hang around a little bit. It's 63-50, Devils, but only five and-a-half to play.
9:14 - Ohio State runs out to its biggest lead of the night at 40-32. Florida all of the sudden can't buy one.
9:23 - Florida on the verge of letting this one get away. It's 48-37, Ohio State and the Bucks are in complete control. OSU looks good.
9:33 - Duke/Michigan State laboring towards the finish line with the Devils up six. Kentucky/Kansas set to tip at some point around 1 a.m. It's cool. I'm not tired or anything, though.
9:37 - They don't exactly do it in style, but Duke gets Coach K win No. 903 with a 74-69 victory over Michigan State. Now for the four-hour ceremony and robe-fitting.
9:47 - OK, I know bitched about the lack of commercial variety earlier, but the guy who does the voice of the car singing "Party Like a Rockstar" seriously deserves more work. Dude's a bonafied star. I feel almost as strong about this as I did about the guy who played Thanksgiving in one of the Guinness holiday commercials back in '05. Greatest actor of our generation.
9:59 - Credit Ohio State, they took control of this game in the final minutes of the first half and then never let go. I didn't think during the offseason that OSU belonged in any discussion with North Carolin and Kentucky, but the Buckeyes are very, very good.
10:07 - Ohio State wins it, 81-74. That's loss No. 2 for the kid.
Game Rating: 7 (both games)
Both started off tremendously but then tapered off right at the beginning of the second and stayed that way for most of the final 20 minutes.
Prediction Result: 10-2
This one hurt.
Consumption: 1 cough drop, 4 cinnamon rolls, 1 glass of milk
Still not sure how that happened.
J'Covan Brown totaled a game-high 33 points as Texas downed Rhode Island, 100-90, at Frank Erwin Center.
Jamal Wilson totaled 24 points for the Rams (0-2), who look to get on the winning side of the ledger at Nebraska on Sunday. Nikola Malesevic added 22 points in a losing cause.
Mike Rutherford, who is watching 24-straight hours of college basketball for SB Nation (Bless him) gave the game a 5/10 rating:
Was actually good, clean family fun for about 10 minutes, but all Texas outside of that. Still, up-and-down with a lot of scoring warrants at least a cinco.
For more on the Texas Longhorns, visit our Texas blog Burnt Orange Nation. For more college basketball updates, keep an eye on SB Nation's 24-Hour Live Coverage StoryStream from the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.
6:00 – Not gonna lie to you, this one’s going to receive about zero percent of my attention once Duke/Michigan State starts at 7.
FIU pulled an upset of George Mason to get to this game, a win witch was probably the biggest of the Isiah Thomas era. The winner gets a trip to Madison Square Garden for the preseason NIT semifinals. That winner will be Virginia Tech. By 21.
6:10 - 12-2 Tech lead early on. Isiah's got blank Isiah face going earlier than usual.
6:24 - Credit FIU for surviving the first five minutes here. It's 16-10 Tech about midway through the first half and the Golden Panthers are competing.
6:28 - If there's one thing I know about Virginia Tech, even this early in the season, it's that they will either be absolutely in the field of 68 or absolutely out. Seth Greenberg is not a man who likes to leave anything to chance.
6:45 - FIU battles back from another double-digit lead and uses an 11-0 spurt to get within two (25-23). All 75 Hokie fans in attendance appear mildly inconvenienced.
6:58 - Tech carries a 33-26 lead into the half. You have to think they took FIU's best shot there. Hokie guard Dorenzo Hudson leads all scorers with 16. Former high-profile recruit Dominique Ferguson leads the way for the Golden Panthers with nine.
7:23 - 39-32, Tech...for the zero of you checking this stream now.
7:48 - VT has pulled out to a 69-48 lead. Hudson has 25. The Hokies are headed to Madison Square Garden.
8:12 - Va. Tech takes it, 78-63.
Game Rating: 2
I watched maybe 15 minutes. Yes, I still think that's a fair rating.
Prediction Result: 9-1
Not even going to brag about this one.
Consumption: 1 cough drop
Symbolic of the game.
Baylor (3-0) won its 21st straight non-conference home game and improved to 33-4 overall at Ferrell Center in the last three seasons. Quincy Acy added 13 points for the Bears, including five in a row to spark an important 10-0 run in the second half.
Chase Tapley poured in 28 points for the Aztecs, who suffered their first loss after opening the season with three home wins in three days over the weekend. It was only their fourth loss (37-4) since the start of last season.
San Diego State proved pesky after falling behind by 16 points midway through the second half, but never got closer than seven and shot just 35.6 percent for the game.
Baylor carried a two-point lead into the second half and the game remained close until the Bears began to take control with a 10-0 run. After Acy scored the first five points, Miller added three and Heslip's jumper capped the surge to make it 46-34 with around 13 minutes left in the game.
Baylor's lead grew to 16 on a fastbreak layup by Deuce Bello with 9:20 left, giving the Bears a 55-39 advantage. Later, a 6-0 burst cut the Aztecs' deficit from 13 points to seven inside two minutes, but Miller's jumper stopped the bleeding to give Baylor a 70-61 lead and it was never closer than that.
For more on the Baylor Bears, visit our brand-new Baylor blog Our Daily Bears. For more college basketball updates, keep an eye on SB Nation's 24-Hour Live Coverage StoryStream from the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.
Will Barton scored 23 points as the No. 10 Memphis Tigers earned a 97-81 victory over the Belmont Bruins Tuesday. Wesley Witherspoon made all 11 shots he took from the floor on the way to 22 points, while Joe Jackson added 20 with seven assists for the Tigers.
After Belmont took an early 4-3 lead, Memphis erupted for a 13-0 run to jump out to a 12-point lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game. The Bruins battled back with an 8-0 run to get within four halfway through the first half and trailed by two points four different times before the break. But each time Memphis held them off, taking a 46-39 lead into halftime.
Mann opened the second half with a three-pointer to bring the Bruins within four before Memphis scored the next seven points to extend its lead to 11. The lead reached as high as 18 points at 70-52 with 12:18 left before Belmont battled back, picking up its offense as Memphis suddenly began to struggle. Mann's three-pointer started a 10-0 burst that saw four missed shots by Memphis, as Belmont cut its deficit to 73-66.
But the Bruins could not re-create Friday's performance, when they overcame a 16-point deficit before dropping a 77-76 decision to Duke, and Memphis pulled away for the win.
For more college basketball updates, keep an eye on SB Nation's 24-Hour Live Coverage StoryStream from the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.
4:00 - Texas would appear to be the superior team here, but perhaps the bigger draw is Rhode Island’s Jamal Wilson. After netting just 172 total points in his first three seasons at URI, Wilson exploded for 38 in the Rams’ season-opening 92-90 loss to George Mason. That performance leaves him as the nation’s current leader in scoring.
Texas has its own big number guy in J’Covan Brown, who dropped 28 points and eight assists in the Horns’ blowout victory over Boston. Both teams are largely inexperienced, but it’ll be a surprise if UT doesn’t take care of business.
Longhorns win by 16.
4:01 – Also worth noting that the Louisville and Texas A&M women’s teams are playing on ESPNU. U of L’s Shoni Schimmel is basically a female Jimmer Fredette and worth checking out for at least a couple of minutes.
4:08 - Except Schimmel's not playing because of an NCAA suspension. My B.
4:23 - I love Tom Penders. That is my foremost thought regarding this contest.
Texas leads early, 16-8.
4:24 - Also underway: Manhattan and Brown are tied at 19. I know you don't care about that, but what if I said they were tied at 213? Yeah, but what if they were? You'd be singing a different tune then.
Where am I?
4:33 - Enjoying the relatively clean up-and-down play here. Texas leads 22-14. After scoring the 38 in the Rams' season-opener, Jamal Wilson just notched his first bucket.
4:40 - Monotone announcer guy inside Texas' gym is freaking me out. Sounds like a voice you'd hearing during a drug scene in a movie. Or maybe I've just been awake for 34 hours.
Horns lead it, 28-17. J'Covan Brown's got 10.
4:46 - Can't say I'm upset with the poor level of play throughout this marathon because it's November and bad basketball comes with the territory, even when top 25 teams are involved. What has been disappointing is the complete lack of competitive games. Hopefully the big guns can help out in that department tonight.
Texas up 34-19.
4:55 - Loving Van Gundy on college hoops. "The business of basketball is completely and utterly boring to me." Word, JVG.
Horns 41-31 at the under four.
4:59 - URI's hit four straight treys to trim the Texas lead from 17 all the way down to six. Mike Powell is the biggest contributor, connecting on 3-of-5 triples and leading the Ram scoring with 13.
5:03 - Texas leads at the half by a score of 46-43. Rhode Island ends the half on a tremendous run. Perhaps the Horns were simply answering the call for competitiveness. Either way, fun last five minutes to watch.
J'Covan Brown leads all scorers with 16. Powell still has 13 for the Rams.
5:23 - Rhode Island doesn't get enough love for their unis. What does Carolina have that they don't?
5:28 - And we have a one-point game on our hands. Texas, 54-53. Hell of an effort from Rhode Island after being down 17 midway through the first half.
5:31 - Jamal Wilson has just nine points through 25 minutes. His reign as the nation's leading scorer likely ends tonight.
5:38 - We're all tied up at 58 here. Rhode Island really hurting itself from the free-throw line where it's just 9-of-18.
5:39 - J'Covan Brown throws pass right off Rhode Islands player's leg, ball bounces right back to him and in one motion he throws an alley-oop pass to Sheldon McClellan who dunks it and gets fouled. November basketball at its finest. Horns back up 63-59 after briefly relinquishing the lead.
5:43 - And we're red bullin'.
5:48 - Texas has gone without a point guard for the past several minutes and as a result they've built back a 12-point league. Rick Barnes is a mad genius. Except he's not.
6:00 - Flow of this one has fallin' off a bit due to fouls and turnovers. Texas lead is 12 and 82-70. Brown has 27.
6:03 - Brown's got 33 now. Had 29 in the season-opener. Quite the early-season coming out party for J'Covan. Cool name. Wish it was mine. At least now that I'm grown up. You blog with a name like J'Covan and you're pretty much God.
6:17 - We've got our first 100-point performance of the marathon. With 1:13 to play it's Texas on top, 100-89.
6:20 - Texas tops Rhode Island, 100-90. J'Covan Brown scores 35, making him the tip-off marathon's new high scorer.
Game Rating: 5
Was actually good, clean family fun for about 10 minutes, but all Texas outside of that. Still, up-and-down with a lot of scoring warrants at least a cinco.
Prediction Result: 8-1
So hot right now.
Consumption: 1 red bull
2:13 – Everyone thinks Baylor is overrated every year, and they’re eventually proven right more times than not. Still, the 12th-ranked team in the country might not get much of a test from an Aztec squad that is in rebuilding mode after losing most of the team that was ranked in the top five for a large chunk of last season.
The Bears come into the game 2-0 and San Diego State is unbeaten through three contests, but neither team has played anyone of any merit.
Baylor wins by 11.
2:26 - Atmosphere in Waco is less than stellar. Baylor up 8-7 early.
2:27 - Stomach could not be hurting more. Am I dying?
2:35 - Second nerd rope has been consumed. Also, SDSU leads Baylor 16-13 in a sloppy game for both sides. It's worth noting that Bears star Perry Jones is still in the middle of serving a six-game suspension handed out by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits.
2:47 - There's a reason why no one goes beyond the words "talent" or "talented" when praising Baylor. Scott Drew has top five talent and a team that has no idea how to play together right now. San Diego State up 23-21.
2:50 - I thought I heard One Republic's "Good Life" too many times on an iPod-less drive to Michigan in September, but this Disney World commercial has taken repetitive to another level. New low, Disney. Well, not really, but, you know, still not cool.
2:57 - The Thanksgiving-haters who think it's OK to start celebrating Christmas anytime after Halloween have somehow gotten ten times worse this year. I just want to go ahead and voice my displeasure publicly while I have a forum. I move my shoulders just like the rest of the world whenever I hear "Feliz Navidad," but I keep Jose Feliciano in the corner until I'm done watching the Lions getting their asses handed to them while avoiding my family. It's a respect thing.
2:59 - San Diego State converts a three-point play with 2.5 seconds left in the half to cut Baylor's lead to two. Bears lead it 32-30 at the break. Ugly game all around.
3:09 - Of course Coach K had to explain to Duke players why it's better to hit someone with a fist than an open hand.
3:12 - Andy Katz is the kid who could never keep himself from doing the total fake voice during class presentations, and never changed because his grades were always good enough. The result is his his painful halftime video voiceovers.
3:21 - For 30 seconds, Baylor/San Diego State looked more like a dodgeball game than a basketball game. Zero exaggeration there. This has been quite repulsive at times. Tied at 32 early in the second half.
3:25 - Brent Musberger could not be putting less effort into this game. I don't blame him as much as I usually would. Baylor leads 34-32 at the under 16.
3:35 - Baylor starting to assert itself inside. Their superior athleticism is undeniably apparent, as it will be in nearly every game they play this season. It makes the things they do with the ball that much more difficult to watch. Bears up 43-34 and have a chance to really pull away here.
3:42 - The cover art for the book that will inevitably be written about today's events:
Baylor 48, SDSU 37 with 12:14 left.
3:48 - Baylor really flexing its muscles now. The Quincys (Miller and Acy) and Brady Heslip are all in double figures as the Bears have extended the lead to 53-39.
3:57 - Bears predictably fall back asleep and SDSU goes on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to eight. Everyone knows Baylor's going to win, but everyone also knows they're not going to win by as much as they should.
4:05 - SDSU's Chase Tapley leads all scorers with 22, but the Aztecs still trail 66-55 with a little under three minutes to play.
4:16 - Clock finally hits zero with Baylor on top 77-67. Tapley is your leading scorer with 28 points in a losing effort.
Game Rating: 4
Everyone who follows college basketball in at least a minor capacity could have predicted exactly how that one would go.
Prediction Result: 7-1
Hating myself for believing in WVU right now.
Consumption: 1 order Dominos cheesy bread (the rest), 1 nerd rope, 2 cough drops
Cough's back. Send cards.
Carlton Guyton scored 17 points and dished out four assists leading Kent State to a big early season win in Morgantown, W. Va., against West Virginia, 70-60 in the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.
Kevin Jones and the Mountaineers dominated the glass and led by five at the half, but the Golden Flashes held West Virginia to 36.8 percent shooting (and a woeful 2-for-12 from three-point range) and ran away in the second half. Jones finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Fun Fact: With West Virginia's loss, only the Big 12, ACC, and Mountain West remain undefeated as a conference (via CBSSports.com's Jameson Fleming).
Play of the Game: Hooray for dunks!
For more on this matchup, check out the Kent State vs. WVU game notes from SB Nation's Mike Rutherford, who is blogging 24-Hour Live Coverage StoryStream from the College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon. For more on the Mountaineers, visit our West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket. For more on the Golden Flashes, visit our Kent State team page.
12:08 – Definitely one of the most anticipated games of the day as the Bruins, fresh off a one-point loss at Duke, travel to Memphis to face the tenth-ranked Tigers.
A classic case of a younger, more talented team facing a more experienced, less talented team. I’m going with the talent and the home court advantage here and saying Memphis hands the Bruins a second straight heartbreaking loss. Tigers by four.
12:13 - Memphis uses an 8-0 run to jump out to an early 11-4 lead. Also, the Tigers are wearing some throwback jerseys that are just fantastic.
12:14 - According to Jameson Fleming, after WVU's loss, only the Big 12, ACC and Mountain West remain undefeated as a conference.
12:21 - Belmont hasn't made a field goal and Memphis has scored 13 straight. Tigers lead it 16-4 after six minutes. Surely this won't last.
12:25 - It didn't last. Three straight Belmont baskets make it 16-11.
12:27 - Jimmy Dykes has already called Brad Nessler "partner" at least five times. I bet if you give Nessler three drinks he'll spend 15 minutes talking about how much he hates it.
12:30 - Dykes says if Memphis' Wesley Witherspoon focuses on basketball he can be an All-"CSUA" player. And I meant to spell "CSUA" like that.
12:31 - North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall:
12:37 - Memphis' length and athleticism is the difference to this point, which I suppose should be expected. Belmont's not going to go away though. This will be a game for 40 minutes. Tigers lead 29-21. Wesley Witherspoon is 5-for-5 from the field and has 13 points. Dude could totally by All-CSUA.
12:45 - Belmont looking much more comfortable and the lead is down to two at 29-27. Easily the best first half of the day so far.
12:47 - I'll say this about Memphis: they certainly appear to have better shooters on this team than they have in years past. Several guys have really confident strokes. It no longer looks like the majority of the team is shocked when they see one of their three-pointers go down. Tiger lead is 34-32 nearing the four minute mark.
12:50 - Neither team can get a stop right now. Great offensive basketball on both ends of the floor. 39-36, Memphis with 2:34 left in the half.
1:03 - Witherspoon has 16 points, Joe Jackson 11 and Will Barton 10 as Memphis leads Belmont 46-39 at the break.
1:22 - Belmont comes right out and buries a three, but Memphis responds with three straight baskets to push the lead to 11. Tigers look awfully crisp for this being their first game.
1:27 - Memphis doing absolutely whatever it wants on the offensive end of the floor. Largest lead of the game for the Tigers at 59-44. Critical stretch here for Belmont.
1:35 - Game officials have removed the sponsor stickers from the playing floor after multiple players slipped. Needs to be done before every one of these tournament games. Memphis still up 15 at 63-48.
1:41 - Wesley Witherspoon still has not missed a shot. He's 7-of-7 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He leads all scorers with 20 points and Memphis leads by 18. I definitely did not see this coming, but it's been quite the overall performance by the Tigers.
1:47 - Belmont making one last push as the lead is down to 73-61 with 9:22 to go.
1:51 - Witherspoon's lack of maturity strikes again as he commits a flagrant foul for no apparent reason. Exactly the type of thing that could keep him from being All-CSUA. Lead is down to seven all of the sudden.
2:00 - Great look at the throwback Memphis uniforms that are being worn in honor of Larry Finch.
2:05 - It appears Memphis may have finally weathered the storm for good. UM responded to every Belmont bucket down the stretch with a much easier basket on the other end. Tigers lead 88-77 with just over three minutes to go.
2:17 - Memphis wins it 97-81 and gives easily the most impressive performance of the day. Belmont fails to pull a signature victory out in either of its major chances and falls to 0-2.
Game Rating: 6
Surprised the Bruins could never get it within a couple of possessions in the second half, but that's more of a credit to Memphis than anything else
Prediction Result: 6-1
Back on track
Consumption: 1 mountain dew, 1 order of Dominos chicken tenders, 1 order of Dominos cheesy bread (partial)
Back on track.
10:00 – All right, now things get a little interesting.
The Mountaineers have won 36 consecutive non-conference home games and opened their season with a 78-71 win over a good Oral Roberts team last Friday. Kent State will be opening its season this morning, The Golden Flashes return the nucleus of a squad that won the MAC regular season title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Kent State appears to be the trendy pick here, but I’m going ’Eers by five in a great game.
10:03 - McDonough and Raftery. Morning glory.
10:08 - Somehow, Deniz Kilicli looking even more Turkish this season.
WVU has the early 4-2 lead.
10:15 - Hearing Raftery and McDonough call a West Virginia game at the WVU Coliseum has officially provided me with my first "the Big East breaking up really, really sucks" thought of the year.
10:19 - Aaron Brown with seven points off the bench and it's 14-8, WVU. Kent State really should have brought uniforms sporting a color definitively separate from the Mountaineers' home whites.
10:23 - Cars.com commercials and whatever ad is using "Good Life" are to this marathon as the Dr. Pepper "Let's Have a Real Good Time" commercial has been to the entire 2011 college football season. Is that a complaint? With the exception of the "Party Like a Rockstar" cars ad, yes.
10:31 - WVU up 16-15 at the under eight. Deniz Kilicli and his uncanny resemblance to the Mountaineer mascot have officially taken over any talk concerning this game. I don't blame you, America. You either, Turkey. Suck it, Finland.
10:39 - West Virginia is 83-12 under Bob Huggins when they outrebound their opponents. Mountaineers are dominating the glass right now 18-8 and own a 22-19 lead with four minutes left in the half. Kilicli has eight rebounds all by himself.
10:42 - Seriously, they're playing three commercials.
10:46 - The beard has ruined Deniz's free-throw stroke. Worth it. 26-21, 'Eers.
10:49 - Talented WVU freshman PG Jabarie Hinds playing very well against a team with some really good guards. Still looks a little lost on defense, but name me a freshman who doesn't right now. If he can be this good for them consistently then Mountaineers could finish better in the Big East than their predicted preseason spot of seventh.
10:53 - I keep hoping that this is the season where teams going 2-for-1 at the end of the first half becomes the norm. I saw it multiple times over the first weekend, but West Virginia just had a chance and didn't do it. I've just never understood why that trend hasn't gravitated to the college game. It just makes too much sense.
10:57 - Kilicli and Kevin Jones combine for 19 first half rebounds as West Virginia takes a 33-28 lead into the locker room. Reigning MAC Player of the Year Justin Greene scored just six points, but shifty point guard Carlton Guyton has 11 for the Flashes.
11:14 - Truck Bryant changed out of his bright yellow shoes at halftime. That's like Kilicili shaving his beard in the locker room. Maybe he should change back because Kent State has the lead down to one at 37-36.
11:18 - Kent State's Randal Holt buries a three to tie the game at 41 and Rafter gives the first "Dagger!" call of the year. Probably just a tad premature, but whatever, everyone's excited.
11:20 - McDonough questions why Bryant changed his shoes. I swear we could be best friends. We should be best friends.
Kent State on an 8-0 run and takes the lead for the second time this morning (Jesus, is it still morning?). 43-41, Flashes.
11:25 - Jabarie Hinds is as interested in playing defense as I am in Jack and Jill.
Kent State converts a spectacular alley-oop to take a 47-41 lead. All the momentum withe the visitors right now.
11:32 - Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff's inspirational halftime speech centered around the lines: "I need you to be a man. You've got to physically get into 'em." Apparently that works for them.
11:37 - Randal Holt bangs another three from the corner and the lead is ten for Kent State. More importantly, the perfect day is in extreme jeopardy.
11:42 - The Turkish sensation with a monster dunk to cut the lead back to six. West Virginia has switched to a 1-3-1 defense that has confused Kent State.
11:47 - Kent State cannot miss. The Flashes are being outrebounded by 13 and they still lead by 11. Classic sign of a team that starts four seniors and a junior. West Virginia's 36-game non-conference home winning streak is in extreme danger.
11:59 - Via Ballin is a Habit, here's Chris Evans throwing down:
12:06 - We have our first upset and my first loss. Kent State goes into Morgantown and knocks off West Virginia, 70-60. It's a bigger win for the Golden Flashes than it is a loss for the Mountaineers.
Game Rating: 7
Two solid teams going back-and-forth for about 33 minutes. Only disappointment was West Virginia not rising to the occasion when Kent State knocked them on their back for the first time.
Prediction Result: 5-1
Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team.
Consumption: 1 cup coffee
And it's wearing off. When I coffee crash, you'll know it. Things will get weird.
8:08 – It’s hard to see this one on paper and not wish that Kenneth Faried and Andre Goudelock were still around.
Sadly, Morehead returned just five players from the squad that shocked Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, and they lost to NC State by 30 in their season-opener. The Cougars lost Goudelock and their other top two scorers, but still managed to handle Holy Cross by nine in their opener. Antwaine Wiggins has the potential to be a star, though, and I’m not sure Morehead has an answer for him.
Going with the Fighting Bobby Creminses by 10.
8:20 - Charleston wins the lamest crowd of the marathon so far award. "What? I'm not waking up for that, bro."
I've spent a little time in Charleston and there's no amount of money I wouldn't bet that the quoted response above was given verbatim at least once.
8:24 - It's 18-8 Charleston at the under 12. Also, I love Stephen Bardo.
8:31 - Quite sloppy right now. Charleston will be one of the biggest teams in the SoCon and they're dwarfing Morehead right now. They've also knocked down 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. 23-12, Cougs.
8:36 - Donnie Tyndall needs to tell his guys that if you keep refusing to guard them, they're going to keep making shots. Charleston's 8-of-12 from three and the bulk of those have been uncontested. Cougars lead is now 32-14.
8:39 - Charleston with the alley-oop on the break and it's 36-14. Morehead doesn't have the offensive firepower to make up a bunch of points in any sort of hurry. This one could stay ugly.
8:43 - Breakfast decision time. Toast?
8:50 - Charleston gets a little complacent after the dunk and gets away from the shot selection that built its lead. Morehead takes advantage and gets the margin back down to 14.
8:51 - Morehead ends the half on an 11-1 run, but Charleston still leads by a dozen (37-25) at intermission.
9:09 - We're two minutes into the second half and I have not heard one bonus feature explanation. I fear for Stephen Bardo's safety right now.
9:11 - I feel like I was lied to when D2: The Mighty Ducks made it seem like Trinidad & Tobago was a hockey-playing country. But at the same time, there's no way I would have known that nation existed had it not been for that film. Also, I don't understand how both the United States and Iceland had one loss but still played in a winner-take-all championship game. Julie was hot.
Charleston leads 43-29.
9:34 - Morehead continues to hang around, but hasn't been able to get any closer than ten yet. Drew Kelly, one of the only Eagles with size, also just fouled out. Charleston leads it 54-42 with nine minutes to go.
9:47 - Charleston lead is back up to 19 at the under four timeout. Jordan Scott has 19 points and Antwaine Wiggins has 17. There is absolutely nothing else of any significance to mention.
9:55 - It's a final (thank God): Charleston 72, Morehead State 57.
Game Rating: 2
That was bad. Charleston raced out to a big lead in front of a largely apathetic crowd and never let Morehead get within striking distance.
Prediction Result: 5-0
Gets a bit tougher from here on out
Consumption: 1 cup coffee, two pieces toast
Made the last second decision to ditch the cereal. Sorry, Crems.
6:11 – The Dragons are one of the favorites to win the Colonial, while Rider is 0-2 and just lost to Robert Morris by 26. But it’s like the old saying goes, “you can throw the records out the window when the game tips off at 6 a.m.”
Maybe not completely. Drexel by 21.
6:19 - They've got the noir lighting on full effect inside Rider's Alumni Gymnasium. Or maybe it's just impossible for lights to hit their brightness capacity when Doug Gottlieb's in the building. It's 6-6 here early on.
6:21 - Gottlieb takes a quick shot at the Rainbow Warrior faithful for their lack of attendance at the previous game. 'Bow Nation is about to go off.
6:24 - The Katz/Gottlieb experiment is predictably awful. Basically, no one is doing play-by-play. Do I expect more from a Rider/Drexel game being played at six in the morning? You know what, I absolutely do.
6:30 - You know those blown up photos of the victims of the people Dexter's about to kill that he posts on the walls of his kill room? Where does he get those done? I can only assume that he's not printing them out himself. I mean, he already seems to be totally unaccounted for at least 3-4 hours every day, and those things are a fairly significant time commitment. I used to have to print similarly sized photos all the time when I worked for Bellarmine University's PR department my junior year of college, and even when I had a complete handle on what I was doing that shit was a pain in the ass. And you know he's not going to Kinko's. Unless he's done some sort of extreme Dexter research to determine that one of the employees is extremely trustworthy and would never ask questions and/or pay mind to the actual material he or she develops. Still, that seems highly unlikely.
They should do an episode that consists solely of an explanation for the question laid out above. Most people would be really pissed, but I wouldn't. Satisfied and thankful is what I'd be.
Drexel on top 15-14.
6:31 - GOTTLIEB BONUS FEATURE EXPLANATION! Who had the 8:09 mark? That's explanation nine of the marathon so far.
6:38 - Easily the most competitive first 14 minutes of a game so far. Nine lead changes and six ties already. We're all square at 18 for the moment.
6:42 - Rider on a 10-0 run to open up a 26-18 lead. Bronco Nation is loud. Also, kudos to the many Drexel fans who made the trip. You're insane, but you deserve the aforementioned kudos.
6:52 - Not the highest quality of play, but terrific effort from both teams. It's 28 all at halftime. Neither team has a double-figure scorer.
7:14 - Drexel on a 17-1 run dating back to the first half. They lead 37-29. Samme Givens has really come alive and leads all scorers with 13.
7:36 - Givens is bigger than anyone Rider can boast and Drexel is feeding him on every trip. Bruiser Flint's coaching genius knows no bounds. Samme's got 19 and the Dragons lead 52-40.
7:39 - Bonus feature explanation No. 2 of the game, No. 10 of the marathon. Gottlieb is halfway to Mark Adams' record of four explanations. Drexel continuing to pull away. Givens has 13 in the half and 21 for the game. Dragons up 56-40.
7:42 - Rider scores for the first time in approximately 20 minutes to cut the lead to 16, at which point Gottlieb says they "just continue to hang around." These guys could not want to get out of Alumni Gymnasium more.
7:46 - It's a pretty simple game at this point; Drexel is just bigger than Rider is, and they're dominating the game inside. It's like a team of 5th graders vs. a team of 3rd graders. Dragons up 60-44.
7:48 - Some sort of animal just got into the house, I think through the chimney. It sounds suspiciously like a raptor. That last line was a half joke (it really does kind of sound like a raptor), but I'm legitimately concerned right now.
7:51 - Rider answers back with a 10-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 60-50. We're approaching the 8 a.m. mark, which means I've already been awake for almost 25 hours straight. It's showing.
7:55 - What is a horse shoe? What does a horse shoe do? Are there any horse socks? Is anybody listening to me?
7:58 - SINGLE DIGIT GAME. Tip of the cap to the kids from Rider for battling like this. Side note: what is the deal with this "Bonus" thing I'm seeing on the in-game scoreboard?
8:00 - Drexel answers the bell and scores six straight to push the lead back to 15 with three minutes to go. This would appear to be the end for the hosts from the MAAC.
8:10 - 'Tis a final: Drexel 80, Rider 62. Samme Givens and Frantz Massenat led the way with 21 apiece.
Game Rating: 3.5
Teams played hard...but yeah.
Prediction Result: 4-0
I'm like the German octopus from the World Cup
Wanted to hold out on breakfast until 8, and I have done that.
4:00 – All right, this is the one I think most people have been fearing.
This was originally supposed to be a Rainbow Classic game between Hawaii and South Alabama, but the tournament was canceled because of lack of participants. Northridge, which is ineligible for the postseason due to Academic Progress Rate penalties, jumped at the opportunity to play on national television, and here we are.
It's the season-opener for Hawaii, while the Matadors are 0-1 with a narrow (66-59) loss to USC.
Give me Zane Johnson and the Warriors by 13.
4:07 - I'll never forgive Hawaii for limiting my ability to say "drop 'bows on 'em" during games now.
4:08 - Solid home crowd here for the 'Bows (I'M DOING IT). Lots of physical play early on with not a lot of corresponding whistles.
4:13 - Mark Adams informs us that the new rule forces defenders to be "physically outside of the circle" when attempting to draw a charge. Thank God they removed the part about the mental limitations. Hawaii droppin' 'Bows and up 5-2 early on.
4:22 - Both teams have a lot of athletes and a lot of guys playing very hard right now. This is about as entertaining as I imagine 4:30 a.m. basketball can be. We're knotted up at 13.
4:29 - Bonus feature has now been explained, by my count, five times in two and-a-half games now. I heard you lose a nipple if you work at ESPN and don't do what the brass tells you. I never really believed it, but it makes sense. Northridge up 20-17.
4:31 - Mark Adams has seen Lilo & Stitch.
4:39 - Zane Johnson has hit 3-of-5 from three and has 15 points for Hawaii, which leads 28-23 with five minutes to go in the half. Also, when a player is down with an obviously painful injury, it's probably best to keep the camera (or at least any speakers) a safe distance away. We just had our first S and F bombs of the marathon.
4:43 - A 15-0 'Bow run (I don't even care anymore) and it's 32-23 with a little under four to go in the half. Hawaii is shooting 52%.
4:51 - You guys heard about this new bonus graphic ESPN's got this season? It sounds cool, but I really need someone to explain to me how it works. Rainbow Warriors (happy, Hawaii?) up 34-28 nearing halftime.
4:54 - Mark Adams has said "rise up" no less than four times in one half of basketball. Can't rise down, my man.
4:55 - Fourth bonus feature explanation of the half. This is going to be hard to top.
4:56 - Northridge responds well to the big Hawaii run and the lead is just 37-34 at the break. Johnson leads all scorers with 15. A very entertaining half of basketball.
5:28 - Hawaii dominates the first six minutes if the second half and leads 61-45. Zohnson still the high scorer with 20, but Northridge's Stephan Hicks now has 18.
5:41 - Johnson buries his fifth trey of the game and we officially have our second blowout of the marathon. And the first half was so promising, too. Rainbow Warriors lead it, 70-45 with eight to play.
6:01 - We've hit hour seven, and I can't even lie: hurtin' a little bit. Eighteen hours feels like a long time, but it would seem a lot shorter if this game would ever end. Hawaii, 73-58 at the under four.
6:09 - Mark Adams was hilarious two hours ago. Now I hate him more than the 1800 Tequila guy. It might be time for coffee. It's definitely time for this game to end. 78-63, 'Bows with 2:47 left.
6:13 - Mercifully, the final horn sounds and Hawaii walks away with an 86-67 victory. The Rainbow Warriors are young, but I believe the folks who say they're already capable of competing in the WAC. I don't believe anyone who thinks Northridge is heading anywhere; 1) because they're not very good and 2) because they're still saddled with a postseason ban.
Game Rating: 3
A surprisingly watchable first half can only carry you so far.
Prediction Result: 3-0
I dare someone to stand near the tracks with this train coming through.
Consumption: 2 cough drops
They're disgusting, too. Wanted to hold out on breakfast until 8, but not sure I'm going to make it.
2:07 – We’re into hour three and game two as a pair of the biggest names in mid-major basketball take the floor inside McKeon Pavilion. This is one you’d almost expect to see in February as a BracketBusters headliner. Both teams are very capable of competing for an at-large bid, so it’s not a stretch to say that there could be a considerable amount on the line here.
I’ll take the Gaels by seven here to try and run my record to an insanely impressive 2-0.
2:24 - Saint Mary's runs out to a 7-0 start, but Northern Iowa answers right back with a 7-0 run of their own. At the under 10 it's 9-9. In a battle of conflicting styles, UNI is getting their way right now with a low scoring game.
2:31 - The Gaels' Mitchell Young may have put on considerable weight in the offseason, but more important is the tremendous porn stache he added. Thing's special. Saint Mary's up 12-11 with 7:29 to go in the first half of a game that's actually been far more intense and enjoyable than the score would indicate.
2:34 - In the sportsmanship commercial where the kid admits that he touched the ball last before it went out-of-bounds, would it matter if he actually came clean to the officials after the timeout. I mean, am I wrong in thinking the ref would just say, "no you didn't" and the game would move on? Bad call, Alex.
2:38 - Matthew "open whenever he crosses midcourt" Dellavedova (Awful nickname. End bullying, you guys.) finally on the board with a three-pointer and then follows that up with a great pass for a dunk. Saint Mary's has EXPLODED for seven straight points to make this a 19-11 game.
2:43 - ESPN is now letting viewers know when teams are in the bonus on its in-game scoreboard. That's fine, it's a nice feature, but I can already tell I'm going to have to hear about it from every announcer during every game for at least the next month and-a-half. If viewers can't put two and two together when the word "BONUS" pops up underneath one of the teams, then maybe they should be watching something else. Like The Polar Express, because they're probably the type of person who celebrates Christmas in mid-November and then "is just ready for all this to be over" by Dec. 10. Where did we start here?
By the way, Northern Iowa has 11 points with under three minutes to go in the half.
2:49 - Saint Mary's has UNI doubled up right now at 26-13. It's now every bit as non-intense and non-enjoyable as the score would indicate. Also, the SMC student section is good, but they're no Gonzaga. That's a call to action, boys and girls.
2:52 - Northern Iowa misses a clean bunny at the buzzer and Saint Mary's ends the half on a 19-4 run to go into the locker room up 26-13. UNI scored just four points in the half's final ten minutes. And they scored just nine points in the ten minutes before that. It's really not that much better.
3:15 - It's more of the same in the opening two minutes of the second half as Saint Mary's extends its lead to 32-15. The sad thing is the effort is absolutely there for Northern Iowa, they're just not getting anything accomplished on the offensive end.
3:27 - Northern Iowa is letting its offensive frustrations carryover to the other end of the floor. It's Saint Mary's 40-21, and there's little chance of the Panthers pulling a Washington State here. Twitter has gone dead, I haven't received an email in over an hour...I'm all alone.
3:31 - It's 48-21 at the under 12 and I can't stop coughing. A pair of disappointing developments.
3:45 - 51-31 Saint Mary's with 4:30 to go. Also, Panda swag.
3:59 - Saint Mary's moves to 3-0 all-time in the tip-off classic with a 57-41 win over Northern Iowa, and it wasn't that exciting. UNI will see better days, and this will end up being a good win for the Gaels.
Game Rating: 2.5
The 0.5 was only added because I fear that worse may lie ahead. This was not fun.
Prediction Result: 2-0
This run will not be stopped.
Consumption: 1 bottled water, 2 cough drops
2 a.m. meal of champions.
11:58 – We’re lucky enough to get this thing started with a game featuring a ranked squad, as the ’Zags host a Washington State team that beat them by 22 last season.
Gonzaga enters the evening at 1-0 after a tougher-than-expected 77-69 win over Eastern Washington last Friday. It’s the season-opener for Wazzu, which will be trying to adjust to life without Klay Thompson, who left for the NBA after averaging 21.6 points during his junior season.
I’ll take the ’Zags by 12 and Doris Burke drawing heavy, largely undeserved criticism on Twitter.
Also, I’ve already polished off a burrito, a root beer and a nerd rope. This has all the makings of a legendary performance.
12:01 - J. Cole gets the call on the tip-off marathon anthem. Really wish they would have just re-used Nick Lachey's Big East Tournament diddy from last year. I mean it was awful - I can't even pretend to turn this into a joke about me genuinely wanting to hear it because it was that bad - but, you know, I could use the laugh. It's midnight.
12:13 - Gonzaga up 11-3, but big Rob Sacre is sidelined with two early fouls. Speaking of Sacre, read this during the Northridge/Hawaii game.
12:22 - The inside presence of Sacre and Elias Harriswas supposed to be the major advantage for Gonzaga here, but instead they've scored 18 of their 20 points via the three-point shot. This would be a solid development for a team playing one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in the country. It's 20-10, Bulldogs.
12:30 - Nine threes already for Gonzaga, which leads 32-19 with five and-a-half to play in the first...uh, half. The 'Zags will struggle with athletic teams that can force their guards to try and make plays off the dribble. They won't struggle with teams that refuse to defend the perimeter.
12:35 - Kevin Pangos is the Jimmer Fredette of the 2011 college hoops tip-off marathon. You heard it here first. Take it to the bank. Other Internet idiom expressing unfounded confidence. Pangos has 15.
12:50 - Rob Sacre hardly plays because of two early fouls, but Gonzaga still leads 41-32 at the break. Ten of the Bulldogs' 13 field goals were three-pointers. 'Zag freshman Kevin Pangos leads all scorers with 18 points. Brock Motum leads Wazzu with 10. He also dunked, which was fun.
12:56 - Meanwhile, Nebraska and USC are so angry their game wasn't selected for the marathon that they're taking it out on the entire sport. It's 54-54...in the second overtime. Just three players have scored in double figures.
1:13 - Gonzaga starting to do what they thought they would all along and assert themselves inside. It's 51-37 and things are getting a tad chippy, which is enjoyable at 1:15 in the morning.
1:15 - Pangos has now hit seven three-pointers, just two shy of Dan Dickau's single-game record of nine. Dude's about to get so much Pangos after this. It's 53-37, 'Zags.
1:25 - Eight threes and 26 points for Pangos, who was the youngest player to ever suit up for the Canadian National Team. Just his second college game. Heads up. 'Zags by 21 as we head towards the under 12.
1:38 - Pangos isn't getting looks and Washington State is kind of making a run. They need to stop messing around or stop guarding Pangos in order to keep interest up.
1:39 - Cougs answer the bell and let Pangos bury his ninth three to tie Dickau's record. Kid is 9-of-13 from deep in his second college game. He's got 29 points and six assists and his team is up 70-56 at the under eight timeout.
1:49 - Gonzaga has led this game by between 12-16 points since 10 p.m. on Monday night. I'm not sure how that's possible, but I'm certain that's the case. 77-65 'Zags with 4:52 to play.
1:54 - I take it back. I take all of it back. Washington State is within seven at 77-70 at the 3:30 mark.
1:55 - I TAKE IT BACK EVEN MORE. It's a 14-2 Wazzu run and all of the sudden we have a four-point game.
2:03 - Reggie Moore gets fouled on a three and buries all three freebies to cut the lead to 81-78 with just over a minute to go. Gonzaga really should have put this one away five minutes ago.
2:12 - 'Zags do just enough down the stretch to hold on and make the final score look semi-respectable at the same time. Gonzaga 89, Washington State 81 is your final. Still, not the overall performance Mark few was looking for. Kevin Pangos isn't going to hit nine threes and score 33 points every night (he did in this game), which means Sacre and Harris have got to be better than they were this morning.
Game Rating: 7
Yeah, Gonzaga should have made this one not as entertaining as it was, but they didn't, and it all worked out well for the rest of us. The Pangos show and the Cougar rally made this an extremely solid start to the marathon.
Prediction Result: 1-0
Consumption: 1 root beer, 1 vitamin water, 1 burrito, 1 nerd rope.
The 24-hour college hoops tip-off marathon is back and Mike Rutherford is ready to chronicle every minute of the madness...or just slowly slip into a black abyss of insanity.
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